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Tanaka Farms in Irvine California hosts Melon Tours in the summer (July-August) where they take us on guided wagon rides around their farm, sample fresh summer vegetables along the way, and then we stop to taste our fill of several freshly cut melons including a yellow watermelon. Some of the farm fresh produce that we got to try today were green beans, carrots, grape tomatoes, white corn, cucumbers, Saticoy Melons (looks like a cantaloupe), seedless and seeded watermelons. It was fun to see the children attempt to try them all. The melon selections may vary upon the harvest season. For example, they sold out of the Yellow Watermelons (my favorite) early because they only had one good crop due to weather. The tour starts with a wagon ride around the farm, the melon tasting is under a tent, and the tour concludes after the wagon returns us to where we start at the market.
*Melon variety will depend on harvest availability.
My Tips for the Melon Tour:
I’ve been on several of Tanaka Farm’s tours now, and they’re all different and fun in their own way. Unlike Strawberry and Pumpkin Patch, we’re not walking around the farm, and the price is the same for everyone because everyone takes home a melon (unless you are under 3 years old). We always have a great learning experience, and the families I go with have fun too. Here are some helpful tips to make it more enjoyable.
- Go early in the day. August gets really hot in SoCal so I prefer the earliest tour time.
- Arrive 15 minutes before tour time. It allows time for parking and checking in.
- Wear hats and sunblock. Tours are about an hour long and some of it is under a tent but the wagon ride is open seating and does not have shade. They have hats for sale if you need them.
- Pack water to stay hydrated and to rinse off your hands. They will have handy wipes after melon tasting but I don’t recall water near the melon tent for hand washing. There are sinks near the porta-potties. You can also purchase water bottles at the Market Stand.
- Bring a reusable tote or double plastic bag to carry your melons. The melons are small but I eventually ended up carrying my kids too.
- Leave your strollers and wagons in the car. You won’t need it on the wagon tour, and you won’t be back for an hour. I don’t remember seeing stroller parking at the Market Stand, but you are also leaving it unattended for an hour.
- Pets and wagons are prohibited.
- Bathrooms are porta-potties by the Market Stand.
$18 per person (adults and children age 3+). Free for 2 and under. Price includes a take home watermelon. Although you do not need a reservation to attend, group reservations may require advanced booking for group discounts. Check their Tour Calendar before your visit.
* Melon variety will depend on harvest availability.
Summer Harvest Watermelon Festival
Every Weekend in August from 10am – 3pm
Did you know that watermelon was first harvested in Egypt 5,000 years ago? Or that there are 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown in 96 countries? Or that by weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States? And that early explorers used watermelons as canteens? Watermelons are the perfect summer fruit! So juicy and refreshing on a hot summer day. Come celebrate the melon here at Tanaka Farms, and enjoy a day with lots of food, drink, games, crafts, samples, face-painting, vendors, ATV rides, wagon rides and more! Admission to the festival is FREE! Activities priced separately